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Pakistan became full member of the shanghai cooperation organization (SCO) on Friday, 9th June. SCO is a Eurasian organization that strives to improve political, economic, and security conditions of member countries and promotes active cooperation through mutual understanding and commitment.

Pakistan applied for full membership in 2010 and was an SCO observer since 2005. SCO Heads of States (including Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping) decided to give Pakistan permanent membership during a major SCO meeting held in Ufa, Russia, in 2015.

Upon acceptance, Pakistan’s Prime minister Nawaz Sharif asserted that, “Pakistan will strive to achieve collective objectives of the organisation for regional cooperation, connectivity and economic prosperity”. Furthermore, he hailed it as the ‘Anchor of Stability in the region’. PM also held bilateral meetings with other leaders on the sidelines of the summit. Sharif used the opportunity to meet Ashraf Ghani, president of Afghanistan and discussed the matters of cross-border terrorism. Both leaders agreed to mutually combat terrorism and promote peace and prosperity in the region.

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) regarded the full-fledged membership as a positive sign for the country’s economy. Moreover, active coordination between SCO member states would help CPEC and OBOR, major silk route projects. Pakistan and China have the chance to collaborate with others on this and make the dream of a fully functional silk road a success.

Nawaz Sharif expressed his satisfaction on the inclusion of India as well and congratulated the country. SCO is a viable platform for both, India and Pakistan, to resolve their issues and try to reduce differences, especially the ones related with CPEC and OBOR.

Inclusion of Pakistan in SCO would allow other partner countries to actively participate in CPEC and take advantage of the ongoing development in Gwadar. Moreover general public and private sector businesses of SCO countries (including India) would also have a chance to invest in various schemes and trade development projects of Gwadar city such as Savaira City and Burj Al Gwadar.

Through SCO, new opportunities for Pakistan will open up and the country’s regional connectivity would improve. Collective combat against terrorism and economic distress can now be carried out with much ease. A substantial increase in trade and investment would soon be experienced, boasting the involved economies and eradicating regional animosities and rivalries.


Zunair Maqsood

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